Who's the dishevelled kid with the map? Why it's Duddel, Max Kravitz's boy. You know him – he's Simcha's eynikl. At least that's how British illustrator Bernard Blatch imagined him on the jacket of the 1959 André Deutsch first edition of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Did Coca-Cola and 7 Up pay for product placement?
After Anne Shirley, I don't think there's a character in Canadian literature that has been drawn, painted, photographed and filmed quite so often as the lead in Richler's breakthrough work. And why not? Duddy is so large that Richler himself couldn't confine him to one novel.
Sixty-five years later, the Blatch cover remains the best, though I have a real soft spot for the 1964 British Penguin that belonged to my father.
|Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1964|
|Amsterdam: Muntinga, 2000|
|Frankfurt: S. Fischer Verlag, 2007|
|Milan: Adelphi, 2010|
What follow are seven more also rans:
|New York: Ballantine, 1974|
|Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974|
|Toronto: Penguin, 1987|
|Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1989|